Rachel Gronwald

Rachel Gronwald

Voters elected Rachel Gronwald to another term on the McAlester Public Schools Board of Education.

The McAlester small business owner received 227 votes to 123 votes for challenger Sophia Collins-West as MPS voters picked Gronwald to remain in the school board No. 1 office during the April 6 elections. After the unofficial votes were announced Tuesday night, Gronwald thanked voters and shared her hope to move forward.

“I’m super grateful for the time that I’ve been able to serve on the school board and I’m really excited to continue to move forward past the pandemic era,” Gronwald said.

Gronwald graduated from McAlester High School in 2006 and went to the University of Arkansas before returning to McAlester nearly a decade ago with her husband, Adam, who is a 2007 MHS graduate. The two have children attending McAlester schools and are small business owners.

She grew up in McAlester with her mother and grandmother both teaching in the school district.

“I come from a family of educators so public education is something I’m very passionate about,” Gronwald said, adding she wants to be an advocate for teachers.

MPS board members voted during the Aug. 10, 2020 meeting to appoint Gronwald to the seat. The seat was previously left vacant by Vic Wheeler, who resigned because he and his family moved away.

Gronwald completed the remainder of the seat’s five-year term term and filed for reelection.

She was appointed shortly after the school board voted July 20, 2020 to require masks to be worn on all campuses among other measures aiming to limit the spread of COVID-19.

MPS tracked and reported active cases across the district while implementing some of the most strict protocols in the county with the hope of preventing community spread of the virus.

“Everything that’s come before us, there have been really divisive people on both sides of the fence and people have really strong opinions and they’re valid,” Gronwald said.

She said the past year brought several challenges to the board to keep public safety as the top priority with several COVID-19 cases district wide and a few related deaths.

But Gronwald applauded students and staff for maintaining protocols to limit spread of the virus so the school can remain open for the majority of the year.

Gronwald said she was grateful being part of the school board as voters recently approved a $34 million bond for a new middle school and event center.

Nearly 80% of voters approved the measure Feb. 9 to extend a previous tax measure that would help the district finance a new building for the first time in decades.

Gronwald said she believes the building and plans to consolidates some grades will help students along the process.

Full April 6 election results:

CANADIAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS PROPOSITION

5 of 5 precincts reporting

Yes — 94 (proposition passes)

No — 19

HARTSHORNE WARD 2 CITY COUNCIL

4 of 4 precincts reporting

Sheryl Baker — 94 (wins election)

Barney Rosso — 44

HARTSHORNE CITY TREASURER

4 of 4 precincts reporting

Sue Tiner — 41

Renee Montgomery — 92 (wins elections)

KREBS WARD 4 CITY COUNCIL

6 of 6 precincts reporting

David Bailey — 87 (wins election)

Daulfin Bennett — 22

CLAYTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS OFFICE NO. 1

1 of 1 precinct reporting (race takes place in multiple counties)

Wade Hembey — 0

James Easley — 0

HAYWOOD PUBLIC SCHOOLS OFFICE NO. 2

6 of 6 precincts reporting

Colton Snead — 77 (wins election)

Carolyn Colley — 47

MCALESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS OFFICE NO. 1

19 of 19 precincts reporting

Rachel Gronwald — 227 (wins election)

Sophia Collins-West — 123

QUINTON BOARD OF TRUSTEES

1 of 1 precincts reporting

Allen Miller — 92

Mary Kilcrease — 41

M.A. Sweetwarer Kendrick — 8

Tim Reavis — 19

Carey Gragg — 117

Dawn L. Haviland — 22

QUINTON TOWN CLERK-TREASURER

1 of 1 precinct reporting

Tristan Romaine Johnson — 14

Carla Montgomery — 138 (wins election)

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